By: Sean Ray | Asst. A&E Editor
While not quite the “flawless victory” it tries to be, Mortal Kombat X delivers an incredibly satisfying experience for both fans and newbies to the franchise.
Mortal Kombat X follows up on the alternate timeline established by 2011’s Mortal Kombat. With the series’s big bad evil villain Shao Khan dead and buried, things heat up once more in the Mortal Kombat universe with the arrival of the Elder god of death, Shinnok. Now a new generation of combatants will have to rise to the challenge, with the help of some series favorites of course.
The story of Mortal Kombat X is surprisingly strong for a fighting game. Where most fighting games let you pick a character and devise some loose reason for you to fight the rest of the character roster, Mortal Kombat X’s story uses the same formula of the last game with a series of chapters that makes you play a different character for each one. This is great for new players who are trying to figure out which character’s play-style they like best. And for veterans, there is a certain satisfaction from getting to the chapter of your favorite character and absolutely destroying the artificial intelligence.
That is not to say that the story is perfect. Sometimes you’ll have trouble because the chapter revolves around a character whose play-style you are not familiar with. I had to hand the controller off to my roommate for the Scorpion chapter, as I just couldn’t get used to doing any of his combos, which were radically different than the kinds my favorite characters use.
Furthermore, the game has an annoying habit of dragging out certain scenes, where your character will have to fight two or three people in order to accomplish the actual goal. Sometimes this works with an obvious build up, sometimes it doesn’t where it feels like the designers are just padding the story along. Also, if you’re a fan of cutscenes … don’t get too comfortable; the game loves to randomly insert quick time events into the cutscenes, which are really annoying and don’t let the player relax in between matches much.
Let’s face it, Mortal Kombat is not a series built on its story. Fighting in the game is very similar to the last entry. X-ray moves are back and the two-dimensional plane is still there. There are a number of new additions too. Characters now have three distinct fighting styles to choose from, with different combos available for each one. While this does mean your favorite character might not have access to every move they used to have, it does let players tailor characters to suit their personal gaming styles much better.
Another nod needs to be given to the many new characters added in this entry. Cassie Cage, the daughter of series favorites Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade, has become a fan-favorite. Erron Black, a wild-west cowboy, adds some much needed diversity to the predominantly Asian inspired character designs. Plus, this entry sees the first homosexual Mortal Kombat character in Kung Jin. My personal favorite new character has to be D’Vorah, an insectoid woman with a swarm of bees at her disposal.
Overall, Mortal Kombat X is not wildly different from its predecessor, but adds enough new content and fixes many of the problems from the last game that it warrants a purchase. There are a few characters missing from the selection, such as Cyrax, but the new ones are just as good or better in certain cases. Additionally, the series has some excellent DLC characters on the way, including the Predator and Jason Voorhees, which was a big factor in me getting the game. The game pleases fans while also providing plenty of chances for newbies to get into the series and is definitely a major reason to get a PS4.